Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) is a two-way communication system that can reach every device in the distribution space. The industry focus in embracing AMI as opposed to Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) is that the communication system is not dedicated to a single application. Instead, AMI is a flexible, general-purpose communication system that can be used for many applications – including meter reading, distribution automation, connect/disconnect, and others.
AMI systems promise to provide advanced energy monitoring and recording, sophisticated tariff/rate program data collection, and load management command and control capabilities. Additionally, these powerful mechanisms will enable consumers to better manage their energy usage, and allowing the grid to be run more efficiently from both a cost and energy delivery perspective. These advanced capabilities will also allow utilities to provision and configure the advanced meters in the field, offering new rate programs, and energy monitoring and control.